Q: Can you give an update on the recent Farm Share event held at Mandarin Oaks Elementary?
A: This event was something I have wanted to do in Mandarin for a long time. We were happy to serve 200 families, who came to the school to get items like chicken, milk, eggs and hand sanitizer… just some things to help make ends meet. I’d like to thank Mandarin Oaks for hosting and Principal Butterfield for her support. I was greatly impressed with the number of faculty and staff that showed up from the school to help. Councilmember Boylan and Councilmember Freeman, who was the contact person with Farm Share and truly made the event happen, showed up and worked hard as well. I felt a lot of joy to see people helping people and I would like to help provide more opportunities for collaboration between Farm Share and District 7 schools. 

Q: Can you share your thoughts looking back on the recently concluded school year?

A: I’m thankful for the principals’ leadership and all the teachers and staff who made this year possible and moved student learning forward. 

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Q: What are your thoughts about the upcoming school year?
A: I anticipate the upcoming school year will be more similar to the traditional start of a school year. The school board has voted to waive the mask mandate for the summer term and going forward, meaning masks will be optional. We will be dropping the temperature checks as well. I think some things from the past year will remain, such as more hand sanitizers available.

Q: Do you have anything else to share with District 7?
A: When students return in August, we will have two schools in District 7 that will be participating in a pilot program for technology: Loretto Elementary and Greenland Pines Elementary. Both schools will see significant improvements and changes to their technologies. We have talked about technology for years, but COVID really forced us to integrate IT with education. It’s very exciting to have two of our schools selected for the pilot program and I will have more details about this in the next issue.

Q: How can our readers contact you?

A: They can email me at HersheyL@duvalschools.org or call me at (904) 316-3609.

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